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Obituary: Lawrence 'Larry' Schoenberg

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  • | 4:00 a.m. May 14, 2014
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Lawrence ‘Larry’ Schoenberg, 81, of Longboat Key, died May 7.

Born July 4, 1932, in New York City, Mr. Schoenberg graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1953 and served in the U.S. Army Signal Corps until 1955.

Early in his career, Schoenberg worked in programming research for IBM. He went on to found AGS Computers Inc., a New York Stock Exchange-traded company, and was the president of Information Technology Association of America.

Schoenberg was a renowned collector of medieval and early modern manuscripts. In 2005 he told the Longboat Observer that he started buying books in the late 1950s, originally acquiring 100- to 200-year-old volumes about artists because he was interested in art history. He went on to become interested in the early books’ woodcuts and engravings and began to buy “for aesthetics and a tactile sense of being in the past.”

He created the Schoenberg Database of Manuscripts and established the Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. According to The Campaign for the Penn Libraries website, his gifts made it possible for the library to transform rare and fragile books and manuscripts into accessible electronic media.

Mr. Schoenberg is survived by his wife, Barbara Brizdle; sons Douglas and Eric Schoenberg; daughter, Julie Schoenberg Jacobs; and seven grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Schoenberg Institute at Penn Libraries, 3420 Walnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19104 or Ringling College of Art and Design Library, 2700 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34234.



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